Have you ever pulled up to a restaurant and thought this is a mistake? There is a good stretch of Capital Blvd where I would worry about you if you didn’t worry. Sawasdee is next to a Karaoke bar and a karate dojo, passing this place up, breezing past the “Indy’s best” stickers has never been more tempting, but I wanted to try something new and any restaurant with a 90% is a fine date.
This place is so much fun to walk in. It looks like hippies took over the decorations and were influenced by a doll house. They colored the tables brightly and nothing here is red or black. There are also touches of humor, traditional restroom signs have been replaced with a comical picture of a man looking over the woman’s stall. A glass of half finished red wine next to a traditional Japanese portrait all adds to the humor or at least modernism of this restaurant. The only problem is that the restaurant is not very big. The inside is very narrow, with one isle separating two columns of tables. This place would feel more than crowded with 15 guests. Now that Spring is upon us, maybe some of the diners will move to the patio outside.
The only thing I have ever eaten at a Thai restaurant in the past was Sushi. So my experience in Thai food is extremely limited. My girlfriend recommended Warming up with some fried spring rolls. Thai food aside, I have tried many spring rolls, one of my favorite appetizers, and what they have going on at Sawasdee is nothing short of a miracle. Their rolls are perfectly cripsy and their sauce is perfectly salty and sweet to bring the bite together. Strong recommend. I just wish I got more than two or at least could order more at a discount.
For entrees, my girlfriend chose Pho, like I knew she would and she really enjoyed the pho, I was not disappointed in it and it deserves top marks for portion, but the flavor was very run of the mill. If you are going to eat here, look for the hearts on the menu.
A heart means that it is a house favorite and I made a relatively safe pick, selecting pad thai noodles, but I have thought about those noodles every day since I last ate them. I first tried them as they were served, mixing all of the elements together, even the peanuts and bean sprouts, though, to be honest, I really thought about leaving the peanuts out. I am so glad that I did not. The sauce on the chicken and noodles was very sweet somewhere between a Hoisin and a teriyaki sauce, only elements like peanuts, bean sprouts, and chives keep the sweetness from becoming overpowering. However, a few bites into the meal, I noticed a lime on the rim of my plate and adding that to the meal really took things to the next level. Flavors were instantly glowing and the meal became extremely vibrant.
Good movies and books stick with you weeks and years after you finish them. That is what this restaurant has meant to me. I have told people in the past that I liked a restaurant or would recommend a restaurant, but this is the first time, possibly in my life that a restaurant and the meal that I had in it really surprised me. Highest of recommends.
Taste/Variety = high
Portions = average
Price = mid-high
Service = mid
Atmosphere = entertaining
Total Value = HIGH